When I was in school, we didn't have smartphones. That was a long time ago and now, thanks to technology, kids are using smartphones to cheat, send inappropriate messages to each other, post on Facebook during class, and some are even being followed to school by drones. Talk about distractions.
I can only imagine what teachers are going through, trying to keep smartphones and other cutting-edge technology out of the classroom (for distraction's sake). It must be a struggle. With that being said, I've found a very strange and fascinating story out of Florida.
An ex-wrestler turned high school science teacher, Dean Liptak, was suspended for five days without pay for going WAY overboard. He attached an illegal signal jammer to a cell tower located on his campus in order to block students from using their phones and being distracted in class.
Here's Liptak's official statement on the issue:
My name is Dean Liptak, and I’m writing this letter to tell my side of the situation involving my use of a cell phone jammer in my classroom. My intent for using the device was to keep students academically focused on schoolwork. It is counter productive to stop instruction and lose academic focus when I have to tell a student to put his or her cell phone away. It is also unproductive to confiscate a cell phone, put it in the school-approved box and keep it until the end of the period. This is our school policy, and if a student refuses to relinquish his or her cell phone, I have to write a referral and lose additional academic focus in my classroom. Moreover, if a student has too many referrals, the student is not permitted to attend extra school activities, which I believe is important to achieve academic success.
So what's the big deal? It seems his intentions were harmless, but jammers are highly illegal, despite the fact that Liptak believed, after speaking with a local police officer, there were no federal laws against jammers, "as long as you don't use them for malicious intent."